Somehow, Trump has found a way to inoculate himself from criticism....This really shouldn't be a surprise. Trump should be most comfortable with comic entertainers. How many hours has he gone back and forth with Howard Stern? There's no comic interviewer sharper than Stern. Trump is comfortable walking into comic abuse, so he's playing Colbert, et al., for free media coverage. If these leftish comedians think they're laying a trap for him, they are fools. But they get their ratings, and the in-house crowd laughs with them, so they don't feel the pain.
He makes fun of his own tie, he praises the state where he’s appearing, South Carolina, in his usual vague language (“It’s a great, great place”), and drops his comically familiar campaign slogan (“We’re gonna make America great again.”). Colbert brings up Trump’s tendency to work blue, and the billionaire developer explains, coolly, why he sometimes uses sharp language. And it makes utterly no sense....
When the two discuss politics, Trump mentions that he would, if he were president, push for a new Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia even if it was an election year — and then contradicts himself by saying that President Obama should wait for the next president to do it. (Colbert doesn’t call him on it the fact that this makes no sense, either.) Alright, sounds good!
The audience had its laugh and Colbert got some good lines across. But the strange thing is that Trump won the exchange. He was mocked, laughed at, and booed by the audience. “You’re not making any friends here, Donald,” Colbert said as the crowd groaned. He may not have convinced the liberals and progressives gathered in the studio. But for a lot of people watching on television, this came across as just riffing. For them, this was just fun. For Trump it certainly seemed to be....
What’s dangerous is that Trump can get in and out of an interview with someone as sharp as Colbert without being demolished. Colbert fans came out of this thinking their guy won, but Trump fans have every reason to think the same thing.
March 19, 2016
And that's terrifying, explains Scott Timberg at Salon, using this bit from "The Late Show," when Stephen Colbert got the real Donald Trump on the telephone. Colbert had an opportunity "to skewer Trump hard."